Crash of a Swearingen SA226TC Metro II in Denver

Date & Time: May 12, 2021 at 1023 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N280KL
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Salida – Denver
MSN:
TC-280
YOM:
1978
Flight number:
LYM970
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The crew was completing a cargo flight (service LYM970) from Salida to Denver-Centennial. On approach to runway 17L, at a distance of 4,2 km from the threshold, the aircraft collided with a private Cirrus SR22 registered N416DJ. The pilot of the Cirrus was able to activate the CAPS rescue parachute and the aircraft crash landed in a prairie. The crew of the Metro was able to continue the approach and to land without further problem. There were no casualties and both aircraft were damaged beyond repair.

Crash of a Cessna 404 Titan II in Englewood: 1 killed

Date & Time: Dec 30, 2014 at 0429 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N404MG
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Denver - Denver
MSN:
404-0813
YOM:
1981
Flight number:
LYM182
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
2566
Captain / Total hours on type:
624.00
Aircraft flight hours:
16681
Circumstances:
The pilot was conducting an early morning repositioning flight of the cargo airplane. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot reported to air traffic control that he had “lost an engine” and would return to the airport. Several witnesses reported that the engines were running rough and one witness reported that he did not hear any engine sounds just before the impact. The airplane impacted trees, a wooden enclosure, a chain-linked fence, and shrubs in a residential area and was damaged by the impact and postimpact fire. The airplane had been parked outside for 5 days before the accident flight and had been plugged in to engine heaters the night before the flight. It was dark and snowing lightly at the time of the accident. The operator reported that no deicing services were provided before the flight and that the pilot mechanically removed all of the snow and ice accumulation. The wreckage and witness statements were consistent with the airplane being in a right-winglow descent but the airplane did not appear to be out of control. Neither of the propellers were at or near the feathered position. The emergency procedures published by the manufacturer for a loss of engine power stated that pilots should first secure the engine and feather the propeller following a loss of engine power and then turn the fuel selector for that engine to “off.” The procedures also cautioned that continued flight might not be possible if the propeller was not feathered. The right fuel selector valve and panel were found in the off position. Investigators were not able to determine why an experienced pilot did not follow the emergency procedures and immediately secure the engine following the loss of engine power. It is not known how much snow and ice had accumulated on the airplane leading up to the accident flight or if the pilot was successful in removing all of the snow and ice with only mechanical means. The on-scene examination of the wreckage and the teardown of both engines did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures. While possible, it could not be determined if water or ice ingestion lead to the loss of engine power at takeoff.
Probable cause:
The loss of power to the right engine for reasons that could not be determined during postaccident examination and teardown and the pilot’s failure to properly configure the
airplane for single-engine flight.
Final Report:

Crash of a Rockwell Gulfstream 690C Jetprop 840 in Wray: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jan 15, 2009 at 0700 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N840NK
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Denver - Wray
MSN:
690-11734
YOM:
1978
Location:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
10221
Copilot / Total flying hours:
2728
Aircraft flight hours:
7215
Circumstances:
The airplane, a Rockwell Grand Commander 690C Jetprop 840, was "cleared for the approach" and approximately eight minutes later was observed emerging from the clouds, flying from west to east. Witnesses reported that the nose of the airplane dropped and the airplane subsequently impacted terrain in a near vertical attitude. Impact forces and a post impact fire destroyed the airplane. Examination of the airplane's systems revealed no anomalies. Weather at the time of the accident was depicted as overcast with three to six miles visibility. An icing probability chart depicted the probability for icing during the airplane's descent as 76 percent. AIRMETS for moderate icing and instrument meteorological conditions had been issued for the airplane’s route of flight. Another airplane in the vicinity reported light to moderate mixed icing. It could not be confirmed what information the pilot had obtained in a weather briefing, as a briefing was not obtained through a recorded source. A weight and balance calculation revealed that the accident airplane was 1,000 pounds over gross weight at the time of departure and 560 pounds over gross weight at the time of the accident. It was estimated that the center of gravity was at or just forward of design limitations.
Probable cause:
The pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control during the approach resulting in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent impact with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s improper preflight planning and conditions conducive for structural icing.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 425 Conquest I in Denver: 4 killed

Date & Time: Aug 13, 2005 at 2020 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N425SG
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Sandpoint - Denver
MSN:
425-0166
YOM:
1982
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
5000
Captain / Total hours on type:
1450.00
Aircraft flight hours:
4003
Circumstances:
During an ILS approach in night instrument meteorological conditions, the airplane impacted terrain and was destroyed by impact forces and post crash fire. Prior to departure, the pilot obtained a weather briefing, which reported light rain, mist, and instrument meteorological conditions at the destination airport. After approaching the terminal area, the pilot received radar vectors to intercept the localizer for the Runway 35R ILS approach. The pilot's keying of the microphone and the timing of his speech exhibited decreased coordination during the approach phase of flight. After crossing the outer marker and at altitude of 7,700 feet, the pilot asked the controller what the current ceilings were at the airport, and the controller stated 500 feet. With the airplane at an altitude of 6,800 feet, the controller informed the pilot of a "low altitude alert" warning, at which the pilot responded, "Yeah, I am a bit low here." Approximately 20 seconds later, the pilot stated, "I'm back on glideslope." No further communications were received from the accident airplane. The controller issued another low altitude warning, and the radar target was lost. The accident site was located on a hilly, grass field at an elevation of 6,120 feet approximately 2.6 nautical miles from the runway threshold
near the extended centerline of the runway. At 2027, the weather conditions at the airport were reported as wind from 360 degrees at 10 knots, visibility 2 statute miles with decreasing rain, scattered clouds at 500 feet, broken clouds at 1,100 feet, and an overcast ceiling at 2,800 feet. An acquaintance of the pilot, who had flown with him on other occasions, provided limited information about the pilot's proficiency, but stated, "a night ILS in IFR conditions would not be [the pilot's] first choice if he had an option." The pilot's logbooks were not located. The pilot did not hold a valid medical certificate at the time of the accident, and postaccident toxicological test revealed the presence of unreported prescription medications. No anomalies were noted with the airframe and engines. Ground inspection and flight testing of the airport's navigational equipment revealed that the equipment functioned satisfactorily.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to properly execute the published instrument approach procedure, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain.
Final Report:

Crash of a Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 Marquise in Parker: 1 killed

Date & Time: Aug 4, 2005 at 0206 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N454MA
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Salt Lake City - Denver
MSN:
1535
YOM:
1981
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
4800
Captain / Total hours on type:
1200.00
Aircraft flight hours:
12575
Circumstances:
The commercial pilot was executing a precision instrument approach at night in instrument meteorological conditions when the airplane collided with terrain about four miles short of the runway. A review of air traffic control communications and radar data revealed the pilot was vectored onto the final approach course but never got established on the glide slope. Instead, he made a controlled descent below the glide slope as he proceeded toward the airport. When the airplane was five miles from the airport, a tower controller received an aural low altitude alert generated by the Minimum Safe Altitude Warning (MSAW) system. The tower controller immediately notified the pilot of his low altitude, but the airplane collided with terrain within seconds. Examination of the instrument approach system and onboard flight navigation equipment revealed no pre-mishap anomalies. A review of the MSAW adaptation parameters revealed that the tower controller would only have received an aural alarm for aircraft operating within 5 nm of the airport. However, the frequency change from the approach controller to the tower controller occurred when the airplane was about 10.7 miles from the airport, leaving a 5.7 mile segment where both controllers could receive visual alerts, but only the approach controller received an aural alarm. A tower controller does not utilize a radar display as a primary resource for managing air traffic. In 2004, the FAA changed a policy, which eliminated an approach controller's responsibility to inform a tower controller of a low altitude alert if the tower had MSAW capability. The approach controller thought the MSAW alarm parameter was set 10 miles from the airport, and not the 5 miles that existed at the time of the accident. Subsequent investigation revealed, that The FAA had improperly informed controllers to ensure they understood the alarm parameters for control towers in their area of responsibility. This led the approach controller to conclude that the airplane was no longer her responsibility once she handed it over to the tower controller. Plus, the tone of the approach controller's aural MSAW alarm was not sufficient in properly alerting her of the low altitude alert.
Probable cause:
The pilot’s failure to fly a stabilized instrument approach at night which resulted in controlled flight into terrain. Contributing factors were; the dark night, low clouds, the inadequate design and function of the airport facility’s Minimum Safe Altitude Warning System (MSAW), and the FAA’s inadequate procedure for updating information to ATC controllers.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421A Golden Eagle I in Denver: 3 killed

Date & Time: Dec 17, 2004 at 1522 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N421FR
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Denver - Denver
MSN:
421A-0069
YOM:
1968
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
12000
Copilot / Total flying hours:
414
Copilot / Total hours on type:
31
Aircraft flight hours:
2666
Circumstances:
The pilot's father had just purchased the airplane for his daughter, and she was receiving model-specific training from a contract flight instructor. Her former flight instructor was aboard as a passenger. The engines were started and they quit. They were restarted and they quit again. They were started a third time, and the airplane was taxied for takeoff. Shortly after starting the takeoff roll, the pilot reported an unspecified engine problem. The airplane drifted across the median and parallel runway, then rolled abruptly to the right, struck the ground, and cartwheeled. The landing gear was down. Neither propeller was feathered. Disassembly of the right engine and turbocharger revealed no anomalies. Disassembly and examination of the left engine and turbocharger revealed the mixture shaft and throttle valve in the throttle and fuel control assembly were jammed in the idle cutoff and idle rpm positions, respectively. Manifold valve and fuel injector line flow tests produced higher-than-normal pressures, indicative of a flow restriction. Disassembly of the manifold valve revealed the needle valve in the plunger assembly was stuck in the full open position, collapsing the needle valve spring. A scribe was used to free the needle valve, and the manifold valve and fuel injector lines were again flow tested. The result was a lower pressure. Plunger disassembly revealed the threads had been tapped inside the retainer and metal shavings were found between the retainer and spring. The Teledyne Continental Motor (TCM) retainer has no threads. GPS download showed that 2,698 feet had been covered between the start of the takeoff roll and the attainment of rotation speed. Maximum speed attained was 132 mph. Computations indicated distance to clear a 50-foot obstacle was 2,000 feet, distance to clear a 50-foot obstacle (single engine) was 2,600 feet, and accelerate-stop distance was 3,000 feet.
Probable cause:
Loss of engine power due to fuel starvation, and the instructor's failure to maintain aircraft control. Contributing factors were a partially blocked fuel line resulting in restricted fuel flow, the instructor's failure to perform critical emergency procedures, and his failure to abort the takeoff in a timely manner.
Final Report:

Crash of a Mitsubishi MU-2 Marquise in Denver: 2 killed

Date & Time: Dec 10, 2004 at 1940 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N538EA
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Denver – Salt Lake City
MSN:
1538
YOM:
1981
Flight number:
ACT900
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
2496
Captain / Total hours on type:
364.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
857
Copilot / Total hours on type:
0
Aircraft flight hours:
12665
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff, the pilot reported to air traffic control he needed to return to the airport to land. The controller asked the pilot if he required any assistance, and the pilot responded, "negative for right now uh just need to get in as soon as possible." The controller then asked the pilot what the problem was, in which the pilot responded, "stand by one minute." Approximately 30 seconds later and while the airplane was on a left downwind to runway 35R, the pilot stated he was declaring an emergency and "...we've got an air an engine ta shut down uh please roll the equipment." The controller and other witnesses observed the airplane on the base leg and then overshoot the final approach to runway 35R. After observing the airplane overshoot the final approach, the controller then cleared the pilot to the next runway, runway 28, and there was no response from the pilot. The controller observed the airplane's landing lights turn down toward the terrain, and "the MU2 was gone." A witness observed the airplane make an "immediate sharp bank to the left and descend to the ground. The impact appeared to be just less than a 45 degree angle, nose first." A performance study revealed that while the airplane was on downwind, the airplane started to bank to the left. The bank angle indicated a constant left bank angle of about 24 degrees as the airplane turned to base leg. Twenty-three seconds later, the bank angle began to increase further as the airplane turned to final approach, overshooting the runway, while the angle of attack reached stall angle of about 17 degrees. The flight path angle then showed a decrease by 22 to 25 degrees, the calibrated airspeed showed a decrease by 40 to 70 knots, and the vertical speed indicated a 3,000 feet per minute descent rate just before impact. Examination of the airframe revealed the flaps were in the 20 degree position, and the landing gear was retracted. According to the airplane flight manual, during the base leg, the flaps should remain in the 5 degree position and the landing gear extended; and when landing is assured, the flaps then extended to 20 degrees and maintain 125 knots calibrated airspeed (KCAS) during final and 110 KCAS when over the runway. Minimum controllable airspeed (Vmc) for the airplane is 99 KCAS. Examination of the propellers revealed that at the time of impact, the left propeller was in the feathered position and the right propeller was in the normal operating range. Examination of the left engine revealed static witness marks on several internal engine components, and no anomalies were noted that would have precluded normal operation. The reason for the precautionary shutdown of the left engine was not determined. Examination of the right engine revealed rotational scorring and metal spray deposits on several internal engine components. Four vanes of the oil pump transfer tube were separated and missing. The gearbox oil-scavenge pump was not free to rotate and was disassembled. Disassembly of the oil-scavenge pump revealed one separated oil pump transfer tube vane was located in the pump. Pitting and wear damage was noted on all of the roller bearing elements and the outer bearing race of the propeller shaft roller bearing. No additional anomalies were noted.
Probable cause:
the pilot's failure to maintain minimum controllable airspeed during the night visual approach resulting in a loss of control and uncontrolled descent into terrain. A contributing factor was the precautionary shutdown of the left engine for undetermined reasons.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31T Cheyenne II in Denver: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jan 24, 2003 at 1721 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N360LL
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Broomfield – Denver
MSN:
31-7520036
YOM:
1975
Location:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
9365
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1944
Aircraft flight hours:
6478
Circumstances:
A Piper PA-31T "Cheyenne" and a Cessna 172P "Skyhawk" collided in midair during cruise flight at dusk and in visual meteorological conditions. The Cheyenne departed under visual flight rules (VFR) from a local airport northwest of Denver, and was proceeding direct at 7,800 feet to another local airport south of Denver. Radar indicated its ground speed was 230 knots. Its altitude encoder was transmitting intermittently. The Skyhawk departed VFR from the south airport and was en route to Cheyenne, Wyoming, at 7,300 feet. The pilot requested and was cleared to climb to 8,500 feet and penetrate class B airspace. Radar indicated its ground speed was 110 knots. The Skyhawk was flying in the suggested "VFR flyway"; the Cheyenne was not. When the controller observed the two airplanes converging, he asked the pilot of the Cheyenne for his altitude. He replied he was at 7,600 feet. The controller immediately issued a traffic advisory, but the pilot did not acknowledge. Both airplanes departed controlled flight: the Skyhawk struck a house, and the Cheyenne fell inverted into the backyard of a residence. Wreckage was scattered over a 24 square block area in west Denver. At the time of the accident, the controller was handling low altitude en route, arrival and departure traffic for both airports. Wreckage examination disclosed four slashes, consistent with propeller strikes, on top of the Cheyenne's right engine nacelle, the cabin above the right wing trailing edge, the empennage at the root of the dorsal fin, and at the tail cone. The Cheyenne was on a similar flight three days before the collision when the pilot was informed by air traffic control that the transponder was operating intermittently. According to recorded radar and voice communications from that flight, the transponder/encoder operated intermittently and the pilot was so advised. Examination of the Cheyenne's altimeter/encoder revealed a cold solder connection on pin 8 of the 15-pin altimeter connector. When the wire was resoldered to the pin, the information from the altimeters, encoder, and altitude serializer was normal.
Probable cause:
Both pilots' inadequate visual lookout. A contributing factor was the Cheyenne pilot operating the airplane with a known transponder deficiency.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421A Golden Eagle I in Akron: 2 killed

Date & Time: Dec 25, 2002 at 1006 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N421D
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Denver - Mitchell
MSN:
421A-0045
YOM:
1967
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
1230
Captain / Total hours on type:
22.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3564
Circumstances:
The pilot reported to Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZDV) that his left engine had an oil leak and he requested to land at the nearest airport. ZDV informed the pilot that Akron (AKO) was the closest airport and subsequently cleared the pilot to AKO. On reporting having the airport in sight ZDV terminated radar service, told the pilot to change to the advisory frequency, and reminded him to close his flight plan. Approximately 17 minutes later, ZDV contacted Denver FSS to inquire if the airplane had landed at AKO. Flight Service had not heard from the pilot, and began a search. Approximately 13 minutes later, the local sheriff found the airplane off of the airport. Witnesses on the ground reported seeing the airplane flying westbound. They then saw the airplane suddenly pitch nose down, "spiral two times, and crash." The airplane exploded on impact and was consumed by fire. An examination of the airplane's left engine showed the number 2 and 3 rods were fractured at the journals. The number 2 and 3 pistons were heavily spalded. The engine case halves were fretted at the seam and through bolts. All 6 cylinders showed fretting between the bases and the case at the connecting bolts. The outside of the engine case showed heat and oil discoloration. The airplane's right engine showed similar fretting at the case halves and cylinder bases, and evidence of oil seepage around the seals. It also showed heat and oil discoloration. An examination of the propellers showed that both propellers were at or near low pitch at the time of the accident. The examination also showed evidence the right propeller was being operated under power at impact, and the left propeller was operating under conditions of low or no power at impact. According to the propeller manufacturer, in a sudden engine seizure event, the propeller is below the propeller lock latch rpm. In this situation, the propeller cannot be feathered. Repair station records showed the airplane had been brought in several times for left engine oil leaks. One record showed a 3/4 inch crack found at one of the case half bolts beneath the induction manifold, was repaired by retorquing the case halves and sealing the seam with an unapproved resin. Records also showed the station washed the engine and cowling as the repair action for another oil leak.
Probable cause:
The fractured connecting rods and the pilot not maintaining aircraft control following the engine failure. Factors contributing to the accident were the low altitude, the pilot not maintaining minimum controllable airspeed following the engine failure, the pilot's inability to feather the propeller following the engine failure, oil exhaustion, the seized pistons, and the repair station's improper maintenance on the airplane's engines.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 340 in Denver: 4 killed

Date & Time: Mar 24, 2002 at 1631 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N341DM
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Aspen – Gunnison – Denver
MSN:
340-0347
YOM:
1974
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
3563
Captain / Total hours on type:
560.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3977
Circumstances:
The pilot was flying a three leg IFR cross-country, and was on an ILS approach in IMC weather conditions for his final stop. Radar data indicated that the pilot had crossed the final approach fix inbound and was approximately 3 nm from the runway threshold when he transmitted that he had "lost an engine." Radar data indicates that the airplane turned left approximately 180 degrees, and radar contact was lost. A witness said "the airplane appeared to gain a slight amount of altitude before banking sharply to the left and nose diving into the ground just over the crest of the hill." Postimpact fuel consumption calculations suggest that there should have been 50 to 60 gallons of fuel onboard at the time of the accident. Displaced rubber O-ring seals on two Rulon seals in the left fuel valve and hydraulic pressure/deflection tests performed on an exemplar fuel valve suggest that the fuel selector valve was in the auxiliary position at the time of impact. The airplane's Owner's Manual states: "The fuel selector valve handles should be turned to LEFT MAIN for the left engine and RIGHT MAIN for the right engine, during takeoff, landing, and all emergency operations." No preimpact engine or airframe anomalies, which might have affected the airplane's performance, were identified.
Probable cause:
The pilot not following procedures/directives (flying a landing approach with the left fuel selector in the auxiliary position). Contributing factors were the loss of the left engine power due to fuel starvation, the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control, and the subsequent inadvertent stall into terrain.
Final Report: